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Raymond D. Adams

first_imgRaymond Delacy Adams, considered by his peers the pre-eminent neurologist of the twentieth century and Bullard Professor of Neuropathology Emeritus at Harvard Medical School died on Oct. 18, 2008 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Adams was born in spare circumstances in a rural area near Portland, Oregon in 1911, the first child of William Henry Adams, an oil truck driver and Union Pacific baggage clerk, and Eva Mabel Morriss.Dr. Adams’s childhood was spent outdoors in sports, a harbinger of his vigorous adult pursuits of tennis and golf, but he began to work at physically demanding jobs from an early age. After graduating high school at 17 he crewed on an oil tanker from Alaska to Salvador. His first aspiration was to become a professional baseball pitcher but at the insistence of his parents he entered University of Oregon and chose to study psychology. While digging ditches to make money in Monmouth Oregon he eloped with Margaret Elinor Clark, a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse, who was orphaned and brought up by aunts.He attended the new Duke University School of Medicine in its third class by serendipity and remained a great supporter of the school. It required great effort to make ends meet while studying during the depression. He and a classmate were offered rooms in a janitor’s closet under the amphitheater in exchange for cutting large blocks of ice for the cafeteria and men’s bathrooms.Dr. Adams began his training in psychiatry as a Rockefeller fellow, first at the Massachusetts General Hospital and later at Yale. He could not reconcile the then grip of psychoanalysis with what he knew of brain diseases and he left for Boston City Hospital to study the physiological causes of mental and neurological diseases under Dr. Derek Denny-Brown. Relegated to the neuropathology laboratory, over ten years and thousands of gross and microscopic brain examinations, he developed the basis for modern clinicopathological correlation that was to establish HMS and MGH as the academic centers of American Neurology at the time.He came to prominence as a neuropathologist and neurologist during a ten year career at Boston City Hospital. He was recruited to the Massachusetts General Hospital in 1951, where he directed the neurology program for over 25 years. Adams was a spectacularly successful builder of institutions. When he took over the department at Massachusetts General Hospital, the entire neurology staff amounted to a handful. He built the first large program in pediatric neurology with specialized faculty, residency training, and new research laboratories. As a part of this effort he founded the Eunice K. Shriver Center for mental retardation research and patient care. His combined staff numbered in the hundreds by his retirement. The birth of the Neuroscience Study Program, with founders at MIT, the creation of the Department of Neurobiology, and the emergence of a general university doctoral program in Neuroscience at HMS were all supported by Dr. Adams.His HMS course in neuropathology was legendary in its breadth for a generation of medical students. He relished teaching, all from slides he had collected and distributed to each student, abandoning this role only when he felt the curriculum no longer accorded adequate time for his efforts.Raymond Adams and his close friend and colleague C Miller Fisher lead the clinical service and residency training program as a team. A sense of their presence, the force of their intellect, character and intensive concern for clinical analysis, patient care and the preparation of their residents were pervasive. For those who trained with Raymond Adams, it was an experience of unremitting effort and attention. His was an insistence upon “the details” essential to a coherent narrative of disease that was structured with a theory of disease process. There was no place for “dualistic copout” in his view that whatever we feel, think and do – the brain does it. He was dispassionately skeptical of his own formulations. He drew conscientiously upon contributions of our predecessors in clinical neuroscience with no barriers across the major Western European languages that were the reservoirs of our history. He placed great importance upon a test of ideas and observations through discussion with colleagues and his residents. His presentations whether in the informal rush and go of the patient’s bedside or in public, were never “a performance.”In an interview, he stated “when I arrived at the Massachusetts General Hospital as chief of the service, the field of neurology was extremely narrow.” It was important to “determine more precisely what the natural limits of neurology were.” “It was necessary to redefine the specialty of neurology.” He wanted to make it “inclusive of all diseases in which there was a lesion in the nervous system, or by inference from genetic and special clinical data, one could predict a lesion would be found by the development of refined methods.” Thus muscle disease, child neurology, mental retardation, developmental diseases and metabolic diseases created by medical problems, i.e., renal disease, hepatic disease, pulmonary disease, inflammatory and degenerative disease “were as much neurology as medicine.” He had the wisdom to, as chief of service, find “gifted people to develop subspecialty fields such as these far beyond my reach.”Many of his academic contributions were seminal. In cerebrovascular disease, he and Miller Fisher determined that the major cause of ischemic stroke was embolus rather than thrombosis and that the principal source was the heart. This laid the groundwork for attention to atrial fibrillation and the necessity of anticoagulant prophylaxis. Other contributions in the field of vascular disorders included a detailed elaboration of the syndrome of basilar occlusion and aortic dissection. His studies of a range of bacterial infectious processes and of syphilis directed attention to the leptomeninges as the primary site of disease that secondarily led to vascular damage and infarctions. He ascertained the features clinically and cytopathologically in a wide spectrum of hepatic disorders including encephalopathy following upon Eck fistula undertaken surgically for cirrhosis and varices that is now called hepatic encephalopathy. Studies of liver disease arose naturally out of a wider attention shared with Maurice Victor to the various syndromes with differential topographic expression associated with alcoholism and where they emphasized the importance of underlying nutritional deficiency and in particular deficiency of B vitamins. With Joseph M. Foley, he described asterixis.Other contributions include characterization of the clinical and pathological features of primary CNS lymphoma, designating them as reticulum sarcoma; a range of inflammatory, metabolic and degenerative disorders of muscle and peripheral nerve; the establishment of the clinical characteristics and concept of normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH); and his initiative in the neurology of the developing fetus and child. The creative and productive career of Raymond Adams must be viewed as the conceptual platform for the era of molecular neurobiology, imaging and computational cognitive neuroscience. He strongly supported an eclectic view of psychiatric disease, considering them to be problems of the brain, and stood behind numerous psychiatrists who had been ostracized from the community, at the time dominated by psychoanalysts.Dr. Adams published over 250 original papers and seven monographs. His lasting influence on American medicine began as one of the founding editors of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, for which continued to write almost all the neurology material through six editions. The other editors chided Ray gently that his neurological treatises in the book led them to consider renaming it to the “Principles of Internal Medicine and the Details of Neurology.” Ray took their advice and he and Maurice Victor wrote Principles of Neurology, the true classic of the field now in its 9th edition and considered by far the leading textbook in the field.Dr. Adams recognized the need for an international neurology community and regularly visited laboratories in Europe and elsewhere. He developed an abiding relationship with the American University of Beirut and extended himself to take residents from there and many sites abroad. Dr. Adams knitted together solid professional and personal relationships among residents and their mentors at MGH and abroad that endured over the half century that followed.All his trainees have remarked on Ray’s personal availability and his dedication to teaching. He was demanding, direct and honest, and always courteous. Team morale and collegiality were pervasive as result of his model behavior, looming personal presence, and work ethic. All were aware that they were part of an enterprise inspired by Ray Adams that constructed the core for the intellectual growth of neurology in the second part of the twentieth century. He is widely credited with establishing neurology’s and neurosciences’ place in modern medicine. He will be greatly missed.Respectfully submitted,Joseph B. Martin, chairpersonVerne CavinessJ. Philip KistlerAllan RopperPhilip WolfAnne Younglast_img read more


The fears of American Muslims

first_imgAmerican Muslims and others concerned about intolerance face a daunting challenge countering the growing negative sentiments toward Islam in the country, according to a roundtable at Harvard on Monday.With attitudes toward Islam a focus of contention in the highly charged national political season, speakers highlighted how hostility toward the religion has spread and what effects it is having on young Muslims trying to find their way in American society. The rising anti-Muslim sentiment reflects a “deep polarization” between some Muslims and non-Muslims, one that is rooted in religious illiteracy, said Ali Asani, who moderated the discussion and is professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic religion and cultures, as well as director of Harvard’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program.“This religious illiteracy has created a breeding ground for fear, prejudice, and hatred that have been exploited for political gain by unscrupulous politicians and terrorist organizations both in Western and Muslim countries,” Asani said. “It threatens not only democratic processes within countries but also relationships between nations and people.”Asani said afterward that hostility to Islam “is not just about religion — it’s another manifestation of racism, because racism and religion become conflated.”The discussion at the Barker Center was presented by the Alwaleed Program, the Harvard Foundation, the Harvard College Office of Student Life, and the Harvard Islamic Society.Christopher Bail, Ph.D. ’11, an assistant professor of sociology at Duke University who studies how groups shape public discourse, discussed the findings of his recent book on how anti-Muslim sentiment became widespread in American society after the September 2001 terrorist attacks.“This was the result of a very well-coordinated effort by a small network of anti-Muslim organizations that have succeeded not only in captivating the mass media but also increasingly influencing our counterterrorism policy,” he said.Using data to track references to Islam in newspapers, television broadcasts, and social media, Bail documented how the groups obtained extensive media attention for their narrative that “Muslims are secretly a fifth column that is trying to subvert the U.S. Constitution under the guise of political correctness.”“This is a pretty straightforward story about the media playing on people’s fears, gravitating towards the most emotional voices in the aftermath of … a major tragedy,” he said, adding that that “emotional energy creates a really interesting ripple effect within the public sphere.”,Arshad Ali, assistant professor of educational research at George Washington University, discussed research he conducted over five years with Muslim youth in New York and California.In particular, he focused on how young Muslims were affected by the New York City Police Department’s surveillance of Muslim students and faculty on college campuses in the Northeast. The surveillance was part of a larger program the city has since publicly disbanded, but Asani later said students remain fearful that it continues today.Ali said that for the Muslim students with whom he worked, the surveillance fostered a sense of “hypervisibility, of always being watched,” causing them to constrain their academic and extracurricular activities.“What we heard from students is that they are self-censoring” their political participation to avoid suspicion, he said. “They have been told by campus chaplains, parents, and community leaders not to engage politically.”Similarly, he said, “So many of the students I work with think hard about taking Middle Eastern studies classes, or classes that deal with Islamic theology.”Lana Idris ’16, a former president of the Harvard Islamic Society, said that what is “scary about anti-Muslim sentiment is that it’s not something that’s new.”“It’s existed for a very long time,” she said, “and like anti-blackness, it’s just becoming very highly visible now because we have social media and we have politicians banking on that right now. … I think it’s just important to know how we should engage when it isn’t at such a hypervisible level.”Omar Khoshafa ’16, who has worked as a Muslim youth organizer in greater Boston, said that the pressures Muslims face today are prompting many “to see the struggles of others who came before us, like our fellow African-American brothers and sisters, and … to work at the grassroots together.”He noted that he helped to organize and took part in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march against police brutality and that an end to Islamophobia was included in the demands of the march.“People saw it as an intertwined cause in the struggle,” he said.last_img read more


Olympics: Brazil, Honduras, Mexico advance in men’s soccer

first_img LONDON – The men’s soccer teams from Brazil, Honduras and Mexico are each three wins away from winning gold at the Games of the XXX Olympiad. But Uruguay saw its golden dreams come to a demoralizing end in group play on Aug. 1. Brazil received goals from Danilo in the 23rd minute, Leandro Damião in the 29th and Sandro in the 52nd to complete its undefeated, three-game run through Group C with a 3-0 win over New Zealand. Brazil has never won gold at the Olympics – the only major international tournament it has yet to win. Mexican forward Oribe Peralta Morones’ goal in the 69th minute was the difference in his team’s 1-0 win over Switzerland that secured a spot in the quarterfinals by winning two games and tying another in Group B play. After opening pool play with a scoreless tie against South Korea, the Mexicans defeated Gabon, 2-0, before beating the Swiss. The victory was especially gratifying for Mexico, which has never won Olympic gold in the sport and has traditionally struggled in the Olympics. In its nine previous appearances – Amsterdam in 1928, London 1948, Tokyo 1964, Mexico City 1968, Munich 1972, Montreal 1976, Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004 – the team has advanced out of pool play three times, reaching the semifinals in 1968 and the quarterfinals in 1972 and 1996. Honduran goalie José Mendoza led a superb defensive effort against Japan in a Group D game that ended in a scoreless tie and sent both teams to the quarterfinals. Honduras, which tied Morocco and Japan and defeated Spain in pool play, didn’t medal in its previous Olympics in 2000 and 2008. Uruguay, however, was eliminated from the competition with a 1-0 loss to Great Britain, which received a goal by Daniel Sturridge in the 45th minute to advance to the quarterfinals. Uruguay finished group play with a win over the United Arab Emirates and losses to Senegal and Great Britain. Honduras and Brazil will meet in one quarterfinal on Aug. 4, with Mexico facing Senegal, Japan taking on Egypt and Great Britain playing South Korea. The winners advance to the semifinals on Aug. 7. By Dialogo August 02, 2012last_img read more


NAFCU examining CFPB’s final mortgage servicing rule

first_img 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr CFPB on Thursday issued its final rule amending parts of its 2013 mortgage rules implementing provisions of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z). NAFCU continues to review the final rule for its impact on credit unions.“NAFCU will thoroughly analyze this 900-page final rule on mortgage servicing for its full impact on credit unions,” said NAFCU Director of Regulatory Affairs Alexander Monterrubio. “At first glance, there appear to be a number of provisions that will substantially impact credit unions.“For example, the projected implementation dates for some portions of this rule are likely to coincide with credit unions’ ongoing compliance preparations under CFPB’s revised Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rule. The HMDA rule changes alone will excessively tax the resources of many credit unions. We will continue to advocate for the bureau to reach back and correct the unintended consequences that have resulted from its rulemakings.”Most of the provisions of the final rule will take effect 12 months after publication in the Federal Register. The provisions relating to successors in interest and the provisions relating to periodic statements for borrowers in bankruptcy will take effect 18 months after publication in the Federal Register. continue reading »last_img read more


The world’s most comprehensive tourism reputation management system – eDEST – was presented

first_imgNumerous opinions, attitudes and feelings of tourists are generated daily in the online space on social networks (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube), specialized review sites, forums, blogs and other online sources. A key challenge in this context is the ability to monitor and evaluate content on multiple platforms and in multiple languages, and to use them for the purpose of faster, simpler and better management of destination development and promotion.  From a marketing perspective, the results of this research represent valuable input information for: Tourism strategies, marketing plans, branding strategies, communication campaigns and optimization of communication and promotional activities towards individual markets.  “This is the result of great cooperation and creativity of the international team, which we are extremely proud of. It is a unique, science-based tool that measures the overall image of a destination. It was created as a result of extensive scientific and empirical research by the thinktourism and Horwath HTL team. eDEST was developed as a tool for monitoring and improving the tourist experience and for optimizing the communication and sales activities of the destination” said Katarina Miličević, director of thinktourism. The eDEST system was developed to provide destinations with a comprehensive online analysis, ie to help them improve marketing activities in an effective way. The eDEST system finds and collects relevant online content that is analyzed using big data tools to reveal hidden patterns and correlations in the data and gain a deeper insight into the image of the destination and the experience of tourists at the level of country, region, city, destination or tourist attraction.  Key users of the eDEST system include ministries and national tourism organizations, regional and destination tourism organizations, city administrations, marketing agencies, and tourism attraction managers. Horwath HTL and the company thinktourism, today presented an innovative system of tourism reputation management, ie a tool for a comprehensive analysis of the image of a tourist destination – eDEST.  As the authors point out, eDEST has a number of significant advantages over traditional surveys: No sample size limit: it is competitively priced in primary research, but without sample size and geographic market constraints, and without language constraints. Greater efficiency is achieved through precise analysis achieved using a specialized natural language processing algorithm. Ability to monitor, collect and segment a very wide sample of data from various online sources, and contribute to strategic marketing activities, ie provides precise and focused guidance for future marketing activities.center_img “We are delighted to enter into this partnership of developing the systems necessary for the tourism industry for an informed and efficient process of managing marketing activities and general destination development. For the first time we are able to quantify the elements of the destination image and thus assess the effectiveness of marketing activities” said Siniša Topalović, ISHC, partner in HORWATH HTL. The most important thing is that through eDEST we can get an in-depth insight into the perspective of visitors related to individual elements of the destination, which is again the basis for improving the user experience. This was exactly the goal of the research and the entire platform – analysis and evaluation of content from social networks, and the eDEST system was created. Source: thinktourism The eDEST system enables the identification and evaluation of the most important dimensions that affect the image of a particular destination (eg nature, culture, accommodation, gastronomy, sustainability, atmosphere in the destination, etc.), together with their affective value, including positive feelings (eg pleasure, excitement) and negative impressions (eg shocking situations, crowds, dissatisfaction) that tourists experience during their stay in the destination.last_img read more


Bali rejects Timor Leste’s request to quarantine citizens

first_imgThe Bali provincial administration has rejected Timor Leste’s request to put 17 of its citizens who are due to be repatriated from China due to the novel coronavirus outbreak into quarantine on the island.The decision to reject the request was made during a meeting held by the administration on Monday.“The relevant parties in the province did not agree to grant the request; therefore, it’s difficult for us to accept it,” Bali Deputy Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati said on Monday, as quoted by Tjokorda said the provincial administration had responded to the government’s policy by asking all Bali tourism stakeholders, including hotel management and travel agents, to collect data on Chinese tourists who were still in Bali. The restriction is expected to affect Chinese tourists who have arrived since Feb. 2 because the average length time of Chinese tourists visiting Bali stay is four days, he added.I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali would also follow the government’s restriction on people travelling from China. “We will suspend 164 of 247 regular flights from Bali to China,” airport spokesperson Arie Ahsanurrohim said, as quoted by ban, however, would not apply to 55 flights to Hong Kong and 28 to Taipei, he went on to say.The Indonesian Tour Guide Association (HPI) in Bali has reported that the viral outbreak has affected the island’s tourism as nearly 1,000 Chinese-speaking tour guides are currently unemployed.HPI Bali Chairman I Nyoman Nuarta said some 1,300 people acted as guides for Chinese tourists visiting the island, about 80 percent of these focused on serving tourists from mainland China.Some of the unemployed tour guides have switched to other work such as taxi driving and others have chosen to return to their hometowns, he said.“Hopefully, this won’t last too long and there will soon be certainty,” he added. (syk)Topics : He previously said Timor Leste had asked for Indonesian permits and assistance to quarantine 17 of its citizens in Bali. The request was made through the Indonesian Embassy in Dili.The decision was made based on considerations and input from several tourism stakeholders in Bali.It is also in line with Indonesia’s policy to restrict travel to visitors from China because of the outbreak, by suspending flights to and from all regions in mainland China. Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said on Sunday that Indonesia would bar visitors who have been to China in the past 14 days. The ban will be effective starting Feb. 5.Read also: 10,000 Chinese tourists cancel trips to Bali over coronavirus fears: Travel grouplast_img read more


S. Korea’s Green Cross seeks phase 2 trials of COVID-19 plasma drug

first_imgThe firm, which was allowed to skip phase I trials, said its therapy would be the country’s first to enter phase II for COVID-19 plasma treatment.Its intravenously administered medicine, GC5131A, includes hyperimmune immunoglobins produced from processed antibodies in the plasma of recovered coronavirus patients.Green Cross has vowed to donate its locally made treatment to all COVID-19 patients in South Korea, where more than 1,000 recovered patients have come forward to donate plasma.In May, it joined several firms working on plasma-based therapies to develop a treatment for COVID-19 patients.The CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance for immunoglobulin therapy includes Takeda Pharmaceutical, Biotest AG, CSL Behring, and Octapharma Plasma.Shares of Green Cross rose as much as 10% after the news but closed down 2.3%, lagging a rise of 0.3% in the broader market .  Topics : South Korea’s Green Cross Corp has sought regulatory approval for Phase II trials of an experimental COVID-19 blood plasma treatment drug, the company said on Wednesday, sending its shares up nearly 10%.Drugmakers worldwide are rushing to develop treatments for the coronavirus, which has killed more than 650,000 and infected more than 16 million since first emerging in China late last year.Green Cross said the clinical trial would review the safety and efficacy of the drug in 60 domestic patients in five hospitals.last_img read more


Bulgarian pension fund companies seek EIOPA support on measurement

first_imgThe Bulgarian Association of Supplementary Pension Security Companies (BASPSC) is to approach the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) to settle the association’s dispute with its regulator, the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC), over mandatory pension fund returns.According to the FSC, for 2004-14, the universal pension funds, which manage mandatory second-pillar contributions from the so-called ‘non-privileged’ workers, returned an inflation-adjusted negative return of 0.16%, while BASPSC reported a positive return of 0.48%.The discrepancies arise from the different methodologies used by the two parties.According to Miroslav Marinov, executive director of Pension Insurance Company “Doverie”, part of Vienna Insurance Group, the BASPSC deploys the money-weighted return (MWR) approach, which takes into account all inflows and outflows and their exact timing. Meanwhile, the FSC uses a simple time-weighted return (TWR), where the formula takes into account all investments accumulated since the beginning of the calculation period, irrespective of their length of time in the portfolio.Sofia Hristova, chief executive and chairman at Allianz Bulgaria Pension Company, said: “The TWR approach greatly amplifies the effect of inflation. The MWR is equivalent to the internal rate of return. It incorporates the size and the timing of cash flows by finding the rate of return that will set the present values of all cash flows and the terminal values equal to the value of the initial investment. Thus, it is an effective measure for returns on a portfolio.”The MWR is also the investment industry standard elsewhere in Bulgaria, being used by the CFA Society Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Association of Asset Management Companies and the Bulgarian Association of Licensed Investment Intermediaries.What galls the BASPSC is that, having explained the measurements to the FSC, the regulator then presented only its own, unflattering calculations to Parliament’s budget and finance committee.The discrepancies are among the issues being discussed by the ad-hoc committee overwhelmingly voted through on 17 February at an extraordinary parliamentary session.The cross-party committee has a month to report on the financial status, supervision, regulatory compliance and legal shortfalls in the system.The FSC, for its part, has unveiled its proposals for changes to the second pillar.These include the introduction of multi-funds, reductions in fees, abolition of transfer fees, a more stringent application of the types of related parties into which pension fund managers can invest and payouts.The most controversial proposal is a separately managed common guarantee fund.Currently, pension funds set aside reserves, and there are concerns the better-run entities will end up paying for others’ shortfalls.In the meantime, the controversial amendments to the Social Insurance Code that came into effect this year remain in place, while changes such as those recently proposed by the Finance Ministry remain on hold.Second-pillar members have been unable as yet to opt out because the necessary documents have not been published.At the same time, the funds are reluctant to enrol those new entrants to the labour market who want to join because of legal uncertainties over using the old system’s documents.last_img read more


BlackRock grows stewardship team amid scrutiny

first_imgThe world’s largest asset manager has grown its stewardship team to 45 employees, up from 36 around this time last year, according to its latest annual report on its engagement and voting activity.BlackRock said this meant it had the largest and most global team in the industry. At the time of its annual report last year, its investment stewardship team members had 36 members. In 2008 the team comprised 13 full-time employees voting at around 8,500 meetings.In last year’s stewardship report BlackRock said it planned to double the size of the team by 2020.In the 12 months to 30 June 2019, BlackRock’s investment stewardship team voted at more than 16,000 company meetings. It said voting was “the formal mechanism” through which it provided feedback to companies on their practices, and engaging directly with companies allowed it to make “smarter and more informed voting decisions”. “Engagement on non-routine, nuanced, and often complex issues takes considerable resources,” it said.BlackRock has come under pressure over its stewardship activities in recent weeks. The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis accused the asset manager of costing its clients more than $90bn (€81.4bn) from a select group of fossil fuel-heavy investments, although BlackRock highlighted that the majority of the investments were held in index-tracking funds.MisconceptionsIn its stewardship report, BlackRock addressed what it referred to as continued misconceptions about asset managers, and in particular index managers, regarding their stewardship work.One of the most persistent misunderstandings, it said, was that large index managers followed proxy advisory firms’ recommendations too closely.BlackRock said its vote was correlated with the recommendations of Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis – two dominant proxy advisory firms – on routine management proposals, which accounted for over 98% of all shareholder votes in 2019.However, the correlation was close to zero with regard to shareholder proposals, it said, with these representing 1.6% of total votes cast in 2019.BlackRock has argued for more transparency in the proxy voting process, which has been the subject of a heated debate in the US. Last week the Securities and Exchange Commission published guidance relating to proxy advisory firms’ and fund managers’ responsibilities. The asset manager also explained that it tended not to participate in multi-stakeholder initiatives that duplicated its own efforts or that “may cause confusion for issuers”. It only joined external groups when it believed that collective action could significantly augment its direct engagements, it said.Both Climate Action 100+ and the ‘Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change’ overlapped with its own direct efforts, for example. The latter is a statement co-ordinated by investor organisations such as the IIGCC and addressed to world leaders on the occasion of major political gatherings, like the G7.Further readingLong-term Matters: BlackRock – time to pull your finger out! Donald Trump is not the only US leader to ignore the climate emergency. BlackRock’s 2019 letter to companies, timed to coincide with Davos, is not quite the State of Union address but it was equally silent on the crisis, writes Raj Thamotheram It held 2,050 engagements with 1,458 companies based in 42 markets, representing 50.4% by value of the equity assets BlackRock manages on behalf of clients, as of 28 June. Multiple meetings were held with one quarter of the companies the asset manager engaged with, it added.last_img read more


Spectrum chief financial officer to resign. Replacement named

first_imgChief financial officer (CFO) of seismic data specialist Spectrum has chosen to resign from the company.Spectrum said on Monday that the company’s chief financial officer Henning Olset decided to resign.According to the company, he will be replaced by Dean Zuzic with effect from December 1, 2018. Zuzic joins Spectrum from a position as CFO of Norsk Gjenvinning.Before his current position, he held different positions in Kid Interiør AS, Plantasjen ASA, Danske Securities, and McKinsey & Co.Rune Eng, CEO of Spectrum, said: “Henning has in his period as CFO contributed to the growth of the company by building a robust finance and accounting function. I would like to thank him for his contribution over eight years and wish him every success in the future.”Spectrum added that Olset would continue to in the company until the end of 2018 to ensure a smooth transition to his successor.last_img read more